2005 Nebbiolo, Amador County
California: Amador County
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
By now you know that we only show you the best wine we can sleuth out for you. Did you also know that we issue special alerts when we find a really great wine – like today’s incredible Nebbiolo from Domenico?
COVERT SAVINGS ALERT!
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Mission Codename:The King of Piedmont
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Sleuth out a great Nebbilo, an Operative favorite. Only return with a superb example of the wine, as our Operatives are very demanding
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Domenico Wines
Wine Subject: 2005 Nebbiolo
Nebbiolo is one of the great varietals of Italy and is the principal grape of Barbera and Barbaresco. What makes this wine so unique is that the Nebbiolo grapes has proven to be one of the most difficult to grow outside of the Piedmont. Domenico has done an exceptional job with this effort as it demonstrates the unique flavor characteristics of the grape.
Incidentally, upon opening our samples for our tasting we noticed crystals on the cork. We haven’t discussed this much at The Wine Spies, but it should be noted that the crystals that look like sugar or rock candy are tartaric acid crystals and are neither harmful to you or the wine. Tartaric acid is a naturally occurring component in wine and is in many cases it is filtered to the detriment of the wine.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful deep ruby red, with perfect clarity and a bouncy surface. This wine leaves behind skinny legs when swirled
Smell – Lushly layered with deep aromatics of rose, cedar, blackberry, raisin, cherry, leather and dark spices
Feel – Rich and full bodied, but starts soft and round before medium tannins kick in at the roof of the mouth as the wine coats your mouth
Taste – Delicious and balanced with flavors that are indicative of the varietal with cherries, blackberries, plums, vanilla, cedar and a hint of soft leather and spice
Finish – Flavors tail off at a medium pace, leaving behind a dark fruit richness that ends dry – which makes your mouth water – inviting another sip, perhaps even larger gulps.
Conclusion – What a fantastic wine this is. When I first learned of Domenico, a winery in unlikely San Carlos, California, I was skeptical. My informant assured me that Domenico wines were first class, but on personal inspection, I was blown away! I love Nebbiolo and this wine really blew me away. As a 2005 it drinks beautifully, but with more time in the bottle I expect really great things from it. The last time we featured a great Nebbiolo, we sold a zillion bottles. Our Operatives love this Italian classic. Having tasted this gem, its easy to see why! This Nebbiolo rocks my world!
I find wines and wineries in some of the most unexpected places. Take, for example, Domenico in…. San Carlos, California. One look at San Carlos and you’d never think wine. Filled with housing developments, office parks and industrial warehouses, San Carlos is nearly 72 miles from Napa, or a drive of more than an hour.
It was on a drive to Napa that I learned about Domenico. I had just added some performance upgrades to the spy car and, well, let’s just say that I failed Auto Shop in High School. On Highway 101, in San Carlos, the car began to sputter. I pulled off on Whipple Avenue and limped along until I found myself at a dead stop on Industrial Avenue.
The car was dead. A quick check on my handheld revealed that the nearest Lotus mechanic was more than 20 miles to the north, in San Francisco. As I was pondering my dilemma, my handheld began to beep a distinct deet-deet-BOOP pattern. Great, now my handheld is busted, too! This audible pattern usually means one thing: Great wine nearby. Surveying my surroundings, I surmised that the device must be broken. What a day.
I got out of the car and stretched, pondering my next moves, when another alarm sounded from my handheld. This time, I looked at the screen and saw the words, “Superior Wine Alert: Domenico Wines: 500 Yeards”. A green arrow pointed the way – to what looked like a giant warehouse. I shrugged, squared my shoulders and walked to investigate.
As I approached, I saw the sign: “Domenico Wine”. Amazing.
Once through the doors, I was greeted by a beautiful tasting room. And, a wine bar that had to be about 25 feet long! Lined up neatly on the bar were the elegantly stylized bottles of Domenico.
I introduced myself and enjoyed a flight of their great wines. My favorite? Their delicious Nebbiolo. I am a great fan of the varietal and drinking the wine transported me to past missions in Italy’s Piedmont region. That made me think of Alfa Romeos and Ferraris. Which jolted me back to reality, and my broken Lotus. Then, another few sips was all I needed to forget my woes. I called for backup and settled in for an extended tasting, and the warm hospitality of the good folks at Domenico.
If you ever find yourself in San Carlos – hopefully under better circumstances – please pay Domenico a visit. Meanwhile, if you want a really superb wine, add a few bottles of their Nebbiolo to your archives.
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The location of the Domenico Tasting Room can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
2008 Gold Medal “San Diego International”
2008 Silver Medal “Monterey Wine Competition”
2008 Bronze Medal “Long Beach Grand Cru”
2008 Bronze Medal “San Francisco Chronicle”
About This Wine:
Medium-bodied with aromas and flavors of brown spice, raisin, vanilla, rose, plum, leather and slight cherry. Pair with Carpaccio, crudites with anchovy infused oil, chicken cacciatore, or cheese like Camembert, ripe Brie, Raclette, Grana Padano or Piave. Italy’s most noble red grape from Piedmonte.
About The Winery:
Dominick and Gloria Chirichillo’s choice of name for their winery is a reflection of their commitment to their Italian heritage and the tradition of family winemaking. In 1955 in New York, Dominick who is called Domenico in Italian was introduced to these traditions by his Nonno (grandfather), Domenico Giovinazzo. In the basement of their home was a wine press that Nonno showed Dominick; passing down from one generation to another the love of handcrafting wine.
Dominick’s passion for winemaking took him from amateur competitions, while he lived on the East Coast, to commercial status after moving to Northern California. Moving to California has enabled Dominick to choose his grapes hands-on from selected vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma’s Central Coast, Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Amador County and the Lodi District. Not to mention he is a member of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, where he sources Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. As of spring 2006, the wines of Domenico have won 95 Medals for wines produced from these various regions!
Prior to opening Domenico Wines, Dominick and Gloria’s passion for the wine business was shared with others on both the East and West Coasts through Bacchus Winemaking Club. This membership club enabled many more people to create their own wines with custom labels. Over 200,000 cases of wine have been created by amateur winemakers on both the East and West Coasts through the years. See the website, www.bacchuswinemakingclub.com for more information on making your own wines.
Our recipe for success in the wine business is simple… take the finest grapes of California, add Dominick’s passion, blend with family tradition, and you get wine that exudes complexity, finesse, and agreeability. We invite you to come by the winery to taste for yourself.
78% Amador Nebbiolo, 22% Amador Merlot